When I go into editing mode, I try to find ways to distance myself from my words. I search for methods that will allow me to assess my work-in-progress in an impartial way. One of my favorite tools for this is the text-to-speech function on my kindle. I find it useful for different stages of editing.
Some of the issues it helps me to catch are:
- Pacing – There may be certain spots I’ve read over and over again, causing my eyes to skim over the content. When the automated voice is reading for me, I can’t speed it up or slow it down. This highlights places that drag, as well as places that are missing an extra something.
- Stilted dialog – If the robotic voice is reading a character’s dialog and it sounds like a robot, I know it’s worth revisiting.
- Misplaced or missing words – When I’m proofreading a manuscript, I find the text-to-speech invaluable for finding these problems. An extra “the” or “a” in a weird spot, or a word that is absent from a sentence won’t get picked up by spellcheck.
I’ve heard of other people using a speech function in Microsoft Word for editing. I plan to try this out someday too. What about you? Do you have any editing tricks that may seem unusual or uncommon?
Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Jennifer!
Melissa J. Crispin lives in Connecticut with her husband, two kids, and an adorable Siberian Husky. She spends her days in the corporate world, and pursues her passion for writing in the late nights and early mornings.
From micro-fiction to novels, Melissa loves to write stories in varying lengths. But, no matter the story, it’s almost always about the romance.